We have to start by saying that nothing is impossible.
For 227 years after the fire in Stjärntorp the castle walls are still standing. The mission now is to save the walls for generations to come. Around 50 beams, sawmilled by LOGOSOL equipment will become a roof that protects the castle from further decay. “Every log is chosen with great care”, says Erik Bolang Jonsson.
It´s a frost bitten morning in northern Ostergotland. The lake Roxen lies like a mirror, a pale sun rises slowly over the horizon. Smoke can be seen rising in the distance by the technical industries in Linköping, Sweden.
On an open ground in Stjärntorp there are two men leaning over a pine log that lies between two aluminium rails. They are measuring and screwing to make sure the log is positioned exactly in place before the milling starts. Piles of long pine logs are waiting for their turn. Sawn beams of up to 15m in length are stacked. A lot of work is still left to do before the job is done as just over 60 beams have been ordered.
The castle that turned into ashes
Stjärntorps castle was built between 1655-1662 by the count and field marshal Robert Douglas. A hundred years later, in May 1789, the fire started. The reason for the fire is still unknown. The current lord at that time Carl Wilhelm Douglas wasn´t at home and many of the employees were visiting the market in Linköping. The castle turned to ruins in five hours.
Today the castle is owned by Slottstornet AB, where Eric Douglas is the owner and Gabriel Danielsson is CEO.
-Eric Douglas has a great interest of keeping the estate in good condition, says Gabriel Danielsson. He is also keen to save what´s left of the castle for the coming generations by looking after the walls and protecting them with a roof.
That is where the logs and the sawmill just next to the castle comes into the picture.
Erik Boland Jonsson, who is one of the two people standing on the open ground runs two companies Viks Gård and Bråhovda sawmil together with his family. They have cattle, carry out construction work, drive forestry machinery and do customised sawmilling.
When Gabriel Danielsson reached out to Erik and asked if he could deliver carrying beams to help preserve the castle ruins from further decay the answer came quickly. Yes of course!
Equipment for oversized logs
- We had previously never cut logs longer than 5m, says Erik Bolang Jonsson. But we always assume that nothing is impossible and that´s a good start.
They contacted LOGOSOL in Härnosand and ordered sawmill equipment for oversized logs. The Big Mill Pro with a Stihl MS880 chainsaw and 1,3m long guide bar. They also built a sturdy foundation to put all the ordered logs on and attached all the guide rails to run the chainsaw on. Several screw-jacks made sure that each log was laying exactly horizontal. As of now they´re half way through sawmilling project.
Long, well sized logs that are around 80 years old have been carefully chosen from the 4600ha forested land that the Stjärntorps Estate holds. Some logs weigh around four tons so they need the help of a large tractor for the on-and off loading of the logs.
Four hours per beam
It takes about four hours to handle and cut each log into a finished beam, with the dimension of 200mm x 300mm or 250mm x 300mm. Erik and his colleague Henrik Kullander start each day at 6am. At best they can cut three logs in a day, with some quick coffee breaks. The sawmilling itself is around a meter per minute.
-A lot of things can happen that delays the work, says Erik as he starts processing another log. The logs are frozen and the site is windy. We estimated the project to take around a month, says Erik but we realise now that it will take twice that time.
In autumn 2016 the roof will start to be built above the castle ruins. Slottstornet AB launched an architect competition on how to shape the roofing and the winning concept had these specific beams in the drawings.
- The castle ruins is a well known landmark in this region and a cultural heritage well worth preserving, says Gabriel Danielsson.